Reddit has pretty much become a fundamental part of the internet as we know it. It is one of the best places to discuss a topic you’re passionate about; be it sports, politics, relationships, or literature…you name it. Without a doubt, many registered members are willing to engage in a conversation with you, like-minded or not. Unfortunately, though, Reddit is not accessible in certain countries, especially those that tend to control web traffic in general. But why is this so and what can you do about it?
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Countries that aren’t fond of freedom of speech tend to dislike Reddit
Different countries have different politics, and since Reddit allows you to talk about pretty much any topic of your choosing (including the controversial ones), some aren’t too keen on it. This is particularly true for those countries that also place limits on the freedom of speech. Countries like China, Iran, Indonesia, and Russia are just a couple of examples.
Some institutions restrict it as well
Unfortunately, Reddit can sometimes get censored by certain institutions such as your workplace or school. Productivity and staying focused is the common denominator in both, so it’s easy to see why they are willing to go to great lengths to keep you away from it. However, since the restriction also applies during breaks, many users strongly disagree with such censorship. As you’ve probably guessed, they’ve found a way around it, and you can, too.
Bypass the restrictions with the help of a VPN
Among countless other benefits associated with using a VPN, it also lets you use an IP address that is different from your real one. Why is that important, you might ask? Well, your location can be determined based on your IP, and this is how specific networks, ISPs, and countries can restrict access to websites like Reddit. By switching your publicly-visible IP address with a different one, you can effectively bypass that limit. In a way, a VPN allows you to reclaim your freedom, the value most of us hold very dearly.
There are other benefits to using a VPN
Privacy is a huge one for sure. Did you know that certain websites like to track your online activity, analyze how long you spend on certain pages, your average visit time, etc.? That way, they can deliver targeted ads to you, for example. While this may seem innocent enough, some of the webmasters have questionable morals and even sell this type of data to other ad networks or analytics companies. Of course, this is all without your consent.
If you’re a traveler, you’ll also enjoy the cybersecurity aspect a VPN provides. These neat-looking coffee shops (and the free Wi-Fi they offer) may be a great way to relax, admire the view, and maybe get some work done. However, the problem with the vast majority of them is that the connection is not secure. Someone may snoop on the data that gets sent in and out of your computer or smart device and potentially intercept it. In other words, by using it, you risk having your login credentials stolen. If you’re hidden behind a VPN, though, all the data is neatly stashed in an encrypted tunnel. Thus, even if someone were to intercept it, it would be rendered useless due to its unreadability.
What is deep packet inspection and how does it correlate to VPNs?
As already mentioned, some countries enforce heavy censorship (both online and offline). Unfortunately, this often goes beyond blocking individual websites. In fact, they don’t even want you to be using a VPN since the country officials, and agencies are well aware that it can be used to bypass the restrictions. However, detecting that you’re using one is not as easy as it seems. To that end, they’ve developed advanced technologies through which they can identify you as a VPN user, one of which is deep packet inspection.
Simply put, this is a tool for surveillance, monitoring, and control. If you’re caught using it where VPNs are forbidden by law, you could also find yourself in a heap of trouble with the local law enforcement authorities. That is all the more reason to choose a provider whose VPN software is “immune” to deep packet inspection, at least if you want to be on the safe side as a traveler. Many providers today offer trial periods which allow you to test their product and decide if you actually need such software.
Being able to access your favorite websites during your travels can undeniably bring you much joy, and having to succumb to country-imposed censorship would be such a waste of a good journey. As luck would have it, the solution is as simple as choosing the right VPN. And best of all? Since these start at around $5 a month, your wallet won’t be taking a huge hit either.